It's time for him to cut the cord!
If you plan on being with a man for a while (maybe even your whole life), you may want to consider that his mother may be with you for the ride, too.
Sure, It’s great when a man and his mother have a good relationship, until it begins to take a toll on the romantic relationships shared between the two of you. Research supports the notion that healthy bonds between a mother and her son help create a sense of respect that enables him to be respectful, positive, supportive, and loving of future partners.
But often, when it's time to finally 'cut the cord,' many mothers have a difficult time letting go and encouraging their son's independence.
If your man has this type of "Mama's Boy" relationship with his mother, and you feel like she always comes first in his life — chances are your relationship with him may not be worth fighting for because, while behaviors can change, your man has to actually want to change them.
If your partner doesn’t believe that the relationship with his mom has faults, or that the closeness of their relationship is problematic, trying to change his mind may create resentment towards you from both him ... and his mother.
When a man is ready to settle down, if you’re the person he truly chooses to be with, you’ll move up the ladder of importance above mom (or at least on the same level as her). It's important not to aspire to come before mom, but rather to be as important, just in a different way. You will become his partner, she will always be his mom and both of you will have prominent roles in his life that will need to be respectfully differentiated for a happy and healthy outcome.
Often times in relationships, when the relationship between a man and his mother becomes overbearing it can be considered a co-dependent relationship. Co-dependency is when we can’t exist without the other person and the other’s person’s actions define our feelings.
If you notice that the relationship between your man and his mother has begun to interfere in your life with him, it’s best to bring it up before it festers and eventually forces you and your boo break up.
That said, initiating this conversation with your man can be quite difficult, even nerve-racking. If you're struggling with finding a tactful way to talk to your man about being a Mama's Boy, here are seven ways to help get the conversation going in a positive way:
1. Write down your thoughts and observations first.
It’s very easy to verbalize all of the things that make us feel angry and frustrated. Writing them down puts things into a different perspective and gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate the total picture in front of us, rather than what is solely in our minds.
2. Expect him to be defensive.
Remember you’re talking about his family, they’ll always come first until you become family to him as well, and maybe even after that. The best way to counter act his defense is to be supportive and explain why the things bother you. For example, you can say something like: “It hurts my feelings when you talk to your mom about our problems and my feelings.”
Focus on your feelings, this way no one can dispute them as no one has the power to tell you that you can’t feel a certain way.
3. Encourage him to take more responsibility for himself.
Such as doctors appointments, finances or even laundry. In this case, instead of telling him you think it’s ridiculous that he depends on his mother for these things, encourage him to do it alone, help him and then praise that he did it without her. I don’t mean, “great job making a dentist appointment baby!” I mean, “I’m glad you made the appointment at the dentist.”
4. Separate your finances from hers.
Including bills and access to viewing your bills. Unless your parents are financially supporting you, or you have another important reason, allowing parents to monitor your spending can make things sticky. At the end of the day, you and your man are going to have to learn how to financially support yourselves and deal with financial struggles that you’ll face as a couple.
While people do live longer in today’s world, the truth is, we don’t live forever and independence is a necessity to a happy and healthy future.
5. He should always be the one to confront her.
Even regarding issues that may arise between you two. Most importantly, you want to make sure your man is fully ready, willing and able to say NO to his mother.
6. Be careful how much you share with her.
Your struggles are between you and your man, and so is your intimate relationship. Regardless of how much mom may like you, he will always come first so be careful what you share as it can taint her image of you and make the future between you and your man more difficult.
7. Stop seeking her approval (cheer each other on, instead).
There comes a time in our lives when our parents can advise us, but no longer make decisions for us. Keep this in mind as you and your man are making decisions for your relationship.
Every relationship in your life (whether with your partner, his family or your friends) will have its challenges.
It takes effective communication and brave work to help those relationships thrive. So stay open and honest with yourself and others, including your moms.
This article was originally published at Honestly Naked . Reprinted with permission from the author.